Looking back at MassBio’s 2022

Dec 08, 2022

By Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, President and Incoming CEO

Despite some headwinds, the life sciences industry in Massachusetts continued to show its strengths in 2022 and by all accounts is primed for continued growth in the year to come. The building boom in Cambridge and beyond continued at a breakneck pace, fueled by high levels of VC investments and an ongoing demand for lab and biomanufacturing space. While a talent crunch still looms large, MassBio, industry, and academia are taking more concrete actions to expand the workforce pipeline.

MassBio has been front and center all year representing the interests of our 1,600+ members, delivering cost savings, advocating for policies that support innovation, making the introductions that lead to partnerships, and hosting the conversations that educate and activate. Moving on from COVID-19 has given MassBio new ways to shine:

Supercharging our innovation ecosystem

  • Hitting the gas on Drive: Eleven startups across the two inaugural cohorts completed the 8-week accelerator where they learned business fundamentals, partnered with mentors, and expanded their networks.
  • Partnering to advance science: Through a Partnering Week, numerous Pharma Days, and the first-ever Innovation Week, MassBio convened and connected thousands of early-stage innovators with established biopharmas.

Expanding Edge offerings to deliver savings

  • Rev’ing up HR solutions: MassBio introduced RevHR, a PEO like offering, as a new EdgeBenefits partner to provide market competitive benefits, including health insurance, coupled with support and resources created specifically for Massachusetts life sciences companies.
  • Introducing new preferred vendors: Morgan Stanley, Vizi, Globalization Partners, The Hartford, and Mercury each joined the Edge to deliver best in class plans and competitive discounts to MassBio members. A Supplier Diversity Program connects minority-owned businesses with our members.

Identifying workforce challenges and taking action

  • Baselining the talent pipeline: MassBio commissioned a workforce report that identified the industry’s workforce needs and found the current training landscape to be insufficient to meet the demand into the future.
  • Getting into the workforce training game: In response to the report’s findings, MassBio partnered with Beacon Capital and academic partners to launch a workforce training center in Dorchester with fast-track certification programs geared toward underrepresented learners.

Upping our DEI game

  • Resourcing our member companies: MassBio DEI team actively worked with members to launch and scale their DEI initiatives, help them measure their progress, and track changes.
  • Integrated DEI across MassBio initiatives: We worked through a DEI lens in all our programming from Innovation Week and MassBioDrive where we sought to amplify and accelerate underrepresented founders and therapies, to expanding the number of diverse suppliers through Edge.

Engaging and entertaining people in the Hub and beyond

  • The Hub hits its stride: The MassBioHub business and conference center played host to countless members’ gatherings, conferences, Board meetings and events (all booked at below market rates).
  • The State of Possible: Our annual meeting brought hundreds of people back together with a memorable fireside chat with former Governor Deval Patrick, and a powerful keynote from Dr. Noubar Afeyan.

Advocating and educating on policy near and far

  • CHARM’ing the Biden administration: MassBio assembled a coalition to advocate the Biden administration to locate the headquarters for their new agency in Massachusetts.
  • Guiding municipalities and residents: To educate both municipalities and residents about the benefits of life sciences development and drive further regionalization, MassBio released two complementary guides answering common questions about biotech facilities and the industry.

With the turn of the calendar to 2023 come incredible opportunities for MassBio to engage with members, our members to collaborate and network with each other, and all of us to advance breakthrough science for patients. Our premier conferences, forums, networking, mixers, professional development, and more will all be back, and this year Boston gets to strut its stuff when the BIO International Convention returns in June. By the end of the year, the MassBio Training Center at Southline Boston will open and begin to welcome students and quickly add them to the workforce.

MassBio is nothing without our members, and we are grateful for you and the role that you play in the greatest life sciences ecosystem in the world. We love connecting with you and your employees at our events, and hope that you continue to take advantage of exclusive member benefits and our ever-expanding network. If you are not yet a member, I look forward to meeting with you and hopefully welcoming you to our family.

Our patient driven work continues. I’m thrilled that we get to do it together.

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